HOW TO RECYCLE USED HOUSEHOLD BATTERIES AT THE BLACKSBURG YMCA

YMCA Thrift Store JPEGJust inside the Y-Center door (closest to the Thrift Shop), on your right, you will see a tall book shelf, and on that book shelf there are two black-plastic boxes each having a sign saying “USED HOUSEHOLD BATTERIES ONLY”.  Please read the sign then deposit your used batteries in either one of these two boxes.

photo 2WHAT ARE “HOUSEHOLD” BATTERIES:  These are batteries from electronic devices typically used in or around your home.  Cell phones and chord-less phones, flashlights, security backup devices, timers, watches and hearing aids, power tools, and so forth.

 

BATTERY TYPES TO LEAVE AT THE YMCA:

Alkaline BatteriesALKALINE:  The word “Alkaline” is almost always written on he battery.  The word may not be in english, but the words for Alkaline in Spanish and French look very similar.   Alkaline batteries that have their positive & negative terminals on opposite ends of the battery DO NOT NEED TO HAVE THEIR TERMINALS TAPED before leaving them at the YMCA.  (his is a DOT policy change from a few years ago.)  Alkaline batteries that have their positive & negative terminals on only one end of the battery (such as large 6V lantern batteries) should have both terminals covered with heavy tape such as duct tape.  We have found that about 90% of all the household batteries left at the YMCA are alkaline batteries.

NOTE – Some “Alkaline” batteries DO NOT have the word “Alkaline” printed on the battery.  This is often true for inexpensive, lower-quality, alkaline batteries manufactured outside the United States.  These batteries, although they are alkaline, may have some combination of the following words printed on them.

      • “Pb” – the elemental symbol for Lead.  (These batteries may also include an image of a trash can with one or two slashes across the image.)
      • 0% Hg -  the elemental symbol for Mercury,  (Or it may have the words “no Mercury” or “no Hg”.)
      • 0% Cd -  the elemental symbol for Cadmium.   (Or it may have the words “no Cadmium” or “no Cd”.)
      • “No Hg and Cd” or the printing may say “No Mercury & No Cadmium” or some other version of these words.

IF YOU SEE NONE OF THESE WORDS (above, under “ALKALINE”) PRINTED ON THE BATTERY, then separately bag it, zip the top closed, and treat it as a NON-ALKALINE battery (see below).

PKG Recycleaboe BatteriesNON-ALKALINE:  There are MANY different kinds of Non-alkaline household batteries.  Often, but not always, these batteries have the word “Recyclable” printed on the battery.  They often contain Mercury (Hg), Cadmium (Cd), Lithium (Li), or Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) and hopefully have these words or symbols printed on the battery.  Non-alkaline are almost always RECHARGEABLE.  These are the most dangerous type of battery to store and transport.  They contain toxic materials and are capable of spontaneous explosions and fire if not handled appropriately.  Button BatteriesAll  “button” batteries contain toxic materials, and these may be collected and stored together for a short time in a sealed, zip-locked plastic bag.  All other non-alkaline (recyclable) batteries should be individually placed in a sealed, zip-topped, plastic bags before leaving it at the YMCA.  It’s easiest if you do this at home as soon as you realize the battery needs to be discarded.

 

DO NOT LEAVE THE FOLLOWING THINGS AT THE YMCA – Please!

Used car or motorcycle batteries.  Recycle these at Advanced Auto.

Used fluorescent bulbs (CFLs).  Recycle these at Heavener Hardware in Blacksburg, or at Lowe’s or Home Depot in Christiansburg.

Used printer cartridges.  Recycle these at Eats Natural Foods, or at Office Max or Staples in Christiansburg.

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HOMEOWNERS – FALL CLEANUP SCHEDULE & MyWaste APP

Please Add To Your Calendar the Date That TOB Will Begin Fall Pickup of Brush & Extra Trash  In Your Quadrant

Schedule:    NE Quadrant (having weekly trash pickup on Thursday) 22 September

                        SE Quadrant  (having weekly trash pickup on Monday) 29 September

  NW Quadrant  (having weekly trash pickup on Tuesday) 06 October

  SW Quadrant  (having weekly trash pickup on Friday) 13 October

Questions:   Call  961-1806

Do You Know About The New Phone App About Waste & Recycling Collection For Blacksburg??  (It’s on my phone and works great! gwc)

The Town of Blacksburg has launched an app called My Waste for garbage, recycling, and special waste collection details for its refuse and recycling customers.

MyWaste Icon JPEGWith My Waste, Blacksburg residents can check details for regular and special collections and events for spring and fall cleanup, household hazardous waste collection, e-waste days, and more. My Waste is tailored specifically to the user’s neighborhood. Once you have downloaded the app it can be set it up to give regular reminders for any of the Towns collection programs. For example, you can set a reminder for the day recycling is collected or set up alerts just for household hazardous or electronic waste collection days.

Residents can download the free My Waste app at http://m.my-waste.mobi/VA-Blacksburg/ by selecting the Apple or Android icon.

The My Waste app was funded by a recycling education grant from the Curbside Value Partnership (CVP) Connect Education Award Program in 2013. The grant program provides resources to select communities that have been dedicated users of CVP Connect (CVPConnect.org). CVP Connect is a free, online education training tool for recycling coordinators that was launched last year to help communities be more strategic and effective in the promotion of their residential recycling programs.NEW SBTreeLogoSmall

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TOWN OF BLACKSBURG CONTRACTS WITH DIFFERENT COMPANY FOR TRASH & RECYCLING PICKUP

Waste Industries Replaces Waste Management for Refuse & Recycling Service In BlacksburgWaste Industries Logo JPEG

Waste Industries USA, Inc has been selected by the Town of Blacksburg to provide garbage and recycling collection for the community starting July 1, 2014.  The contract will service 5,600 households in the Town of Blacksburg.

The Town of Blacksburg (TOB) provides a contracted service for weekly collection of household waste and recycling for single-unit dwellings and those having no more than four (4) separate living units in one building.  Until this year, the company called Waste Management has provided this service.  But, beginning July 01, 2014, Waste Industries USA will provide garbage and recycling collection for town residents.  Their closest operation center is in Wytheville, VA.  It’s Sustainable Blacksburg’s understanding that WI operates their pickup vehicles with compressed natural gas.  We hope that will be true for their Blacksburg operation.

New tall, wheeled, waste carts — having “Waste Industries” name on the side — will be delivered to town residents by Rehrig Pacific Company beginning the week of June 16.  These carts are the property of Waste Industries.  Each cart has the company’s name on the side, and a number that is assigned to your dwelling unit.  If or when you move, the cart should stay with your house.  (Those now receiving “backdoor” service will still receive this service without the need to place their carts at the curb.)

 During the cart-delivery process, the Rehrig Pacific Company will drive unlabeled pickup trucks with trailers attached or box trucks.  The new Waste-Industry carts will be placed at the curb in front or at the side of each residence depending upon the residence type.  Important written information will be attached to each cart using a clear plastic bag.  Please save the card containing future 2014 dates for trash & recycling collection from the TOB for future reference. 

On the last day of the June 2014 service for each quadrant, Waste Management will pick up their carts after they have completed collection services for that quadrant.  Waste Management WILL NOT PICK UP RECYCLING BINS on that day.  You should continue to use the same blue recycling bins after 01 July 2014.

Collection days for each town quadrant WILL NOT CHANGE after 01 July.  However, the collection times during your collection day may be different.  Beginning on 01 July, you should continue to have your refuse and recycling containers at the curb in front of your residence NLT 7:00 AM.NEW SBTreeLogoSmall

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WELL-WATER & SPRING-WATER TESTING, 16-20 JUNE 2014

Virginia Cooperative Extension at VT is Offering Water Testing for Montgomery & Giles County Residents Next Week

Below is a note from Erin Ling, Senior Extension Associate with the Virginia Household Water Quality Program at VT.

Water Drip“Please spread the word that we are offering well and spring water testing in Montgomery and Giles counties next week!  Adjacent counties can participate as well.  It’s a great deal – 14 parameters for $49.  Fliers are attached.  Thanks!”

You can reach Erin at 540.231.9058 or ejling@vt.edu.  Also access www.wellwater.bse.vt.edu

 Water Testing 2014 JPEG

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INSECT POLLINATORS & HOW TO ENCOURAGE THEM

Many think of Honey Bees when we think of pollination, but in fact there are hundreds different kinds of bees that help to grow our food.  Learn about who is visiting our flowers and how to encourage these visitors.

The Green Committee at Warm Hearth Village has invited Eric Day from the VT Insect Identification Lab to talk to them about pollinators, as shown below.  All are welcome!

WHEN  -  3:00 PM Tuesday, 24 June

WHERE  -  Tall Oaks Hall at the Village Center, Warm Hearth Village, Blacksburg

CONTACT  -  Mary Keffer, (o) 443-3423 or (cell) 235-1288.

 Bee & Flower JPEG

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HOUSEHOLD BATTERY RECYCLING PROGRAM FOR BLACKSBURG RESIDENTS

Sustainable Blacksburg and the YMCA Cooperate to Improve Household Battery Recycling in Blacksburg

PKG Recycleaboe Batteries

A few of the many different types of “household batteries”.

WHAT ARE “HOUSEHOLD BATTERIES”.  As you might expect, a household battery is any battery type that is used in our home or dwelling unit.  These would include those used in flashlights and lanterns, toys, computers, phones, power tools, clocks, timers, hearing aids remote-controls, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and other similar electronic devices.  The list of household batteries does not  usually include batteries used in cars, motorcycles, and other devices used for   transportation.

WHY SHOULD WE RECYCLE USED HOUSEHOLD BATTERIES.  All batteries contain toxic (poisonous) chemicals –  things like lead, cadmium, lithium – chemicals that have been shown to be either carcinogenic or in other ways highly poisonous often in very minute amounts.  Industry concentrates these toxins and places them in batteries to make them work well.  But, if we discard batteries into our household trash, they go into our landfill, and will eventually find their way into the soil beyond and below the landfill, and get into our groundwater and into the air we breathe.  So, how do we keep these poisonous chemicals from getting into our environment?  We send the batteries to a regional facility that safely extracts these toxins and carefully uses them in making new batteries and other important products.  But, we need to make sure this is done correctly and safely?

A merchant's collection box.

A collection box like that used by Blacksburg merchants and other organization in our town.

COLLECTION OF USED HOUSEHOLD BATTERIES FOR RECYCLING.  Currently, there are SEVEN collection locations in the Town of Blacksburg (TOB) where you can take household batteries for recycling.  Most of these locations have boxes that look like the photo on the right, and your batteries for recycling should be placed into the small removable box that hangs inside the larger, black, plastic box.  In most cases, there is a sticker with an arrow pointing to this removable box.  See below for a list  of merchants and organizations where household batteries can be left for recycling:

    • Our local YMCA
    • Eats Natural Foods
    • Heavener Hardware
    • Colley Architects
    • The Community Arts Information Office (CAIO)
    • Creekmore Law Firm
    • Warm Hearth Village (2 locations)
Alkaline Batteries

Alkaline and Non-Alkaline batteries that need sorting and possible separation prior to transfer to the MRSWA facility.

HOW CITIZEN’S SHOULD COLLECT & PREPARE BATTERIES FOR TRANSFER TO A COLLECTION LOCATION.  The best and safest way to collect batteries at home, for later transfer to a Blacksburg collection facilities, is to collect the used batteries in a small corrugated cardboard box.  When you have a battery that should be recycled, look at the words printed on the battery.  If you see the word ALKALINE printed on the battery, they can be safely placed directly into he cardboard box.  Alkaline batteries contain lead and should be recycled to keep this toxin out of our landfill.  Alkaline batteries need NOT be bagged and their terminals do NOT need to be taped!

If the word alkaline, in any language, is NOT printed on the battery, it should be considered a NON-ALKALNE battery.  Non-alkaline batteries are often (but not always) rechargeable.  Non-alkaline batteries contain toxins such as cadmium, lithium, or mercury, and these toxic ions can be dangerous if they comes in contact with each other .  Therefore, each non-alkaline battery should be separately sealed in a transparent plastic bag before it is placed into your cardboard box containing other batteries destined for recycling.  Inexpensive snack bags or sandwich bags may be used for this purpose.  Each time that you have a battery to recycle, please determine if it is an alkaline or a non-alkaline battery, then separately bag and seal it only if it is a non-alkaline battery.  This action will take you no time at all, and it will delight the corps of volunteers who prepare the batteries for transport to MRSWA.  The important thing here is to keep each non-alkaline battery from touching any of the other batteries in your cardboard storage box.

YMCA Thrift Store JPEG

Battery collection boxes at the Y Center on North Main Street are located inside this door.

WHAT HAPPENS TO HOUSEHOLD BATTERIES THAT YOU TAKE TO A COLLECTION FACILITY?  If you take your used batteries to the YMCA, they are periodically transferred to a collection room also located at the YMCA-Center.  Batteries taken to town merchants and other locations are collected by Sustainable-Blacksburg Volunteers and taken to the YMCA collection room.  About once each month (or more), volunteers from Sustainable Blacksburg and other local and regional organizations meet to separate alkaline from non-alkaline batteries, to make sure all non-alkaline batteries are separately sealed in plastic bags, and these sorted batteries are placed in an enclosed trailer that is supplied by the Town of Blacksburg (TOB).  About once each week, the TOB transports these batteries to the Montgomery Regional Solid Waste Authority (MRSWA) where they are double checked, then transported to a regional facility designed for battery recycling.  There the batteries are opened and the toxins are separately extracted so that they may be reused in building new electronic devices.

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BLACKSBURG RECYCLING & TRASH SMART-PHONE APP

My Waste mobile app puts recycling/garbage collection information on smart phones

MyWaste Icon JPEG

The Town of Blacksburg has launched an app called My Waste for garbage, recycling, and special waste collection details, for its refuse and recycling customers.

With  My Waste Blacksburg residents can check details for regular and special collections and events for spring and fall cleanup, household hazardous waste collection, e-waste days, and more.

My Waste is tailored specifically to the user’s neighborhood,” said Kelly Mattingly, Director of Public Works. “Once residents have downloaded the app, they can set it up to give them regular reminders for any of our collection programs. For example, they can set a reminder for the day recycling is collected or they can set up alerts just for household hazardous or electronic waste collection days.”

Residents can download th e free My Waste  app at http://m.my-waste.mobi/VA-Blacksburg/ by selecting the Apple or Android icon.

The My Waste app was funded by a recycling education grant from the Curbside Value Partnership (CVP) Connect Education Award Program in 2013. The grant program provides resources to select communities that have been dedicated users of CVP Connect (CVPConnect.org). CVP Connect is a free, online education training tool for recycling coordinators that was launched last year to help communities be more strategic and effective in the promotion of their residential recycling programs.

The Town of Blacksburg is one of fifteen communities selected by CVP to receive assistance executing recycling education plans. “The Town of Blacksburg impressed us with their commitment to recycling education and impressive plans for 2013 and beyond,” said Steve Thompson, executive director of CVP. “I look forward to working with them to increase recycling participation and tonnage in their program.”

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REMINDER & UPDATE – NRV ECO EXPO – SATURDAY, 10 MAY

2014 NRV Eco Expo at Warm Hearth Village

WHEN  -  10:00 AM to 4:00 PM Saturday 10 May

WHERE  -  The Village Center, Warm Hearth Village, 2387 Warm Hearth Drive, Blacksburg

CONTACT  –  Mary Keefer at 443-3423 or mkeffer@warmhearth.org

2014 NR ECO Schedule JPEG

NRV ECO EXPO Poster JPEG

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SB VOLUNTEERS NEEDED – Help With Ytoss? – 13 and 14 May – 11 AM to 7 PM

NEW SBTreeLogoSmallWHAT:  SB Will Staff One Storage Pod for Two Days At “Ytoss?”

WHEN:  From 11 AM to 7:00 PM on Tuesday, 13 May and Wednesday, 14 May.

SB POD LOCATION:  On Washington Street (VT Campus, near West Ambler Johnston Hall.  (See pink star #5 on the map below – close to West AJ dorm.)

HOW TO SIGN UP TO HELP STAFF THE SB POD Use this Doodle address  - https://doodle.com/73k4npvhbwm9utya

WHAT IS Ytoss?:  Ytoss is the YMCA at Virginia Tech’s largest sustainability initiative. Each year, volunteers collect gently-used items during student move-out and make them available for sale during student move-in on Virginia Tech’s campus. Profits support the YMCA Student Programs.

WHAT IS ACCEPTED FOR STORAGE UNTIL FALL:   Ytoss accepts clean, gently used furniture, electronics, and clothing, including rugs, linens, hutches, mini-fridges and small appliances. Torn or soiled textiles and broken electronics will be recycled. We also collect non-perishable foods, laundry detergent, and cleaning supplies for local food banks. The only items we cannot accept ripped or soiled are mattresses and upholstered furniture. Also, we cannot accept broken plastic furniture and appliances unless they are made out of recyclable (#1-7) plastics. For detailed donation and recycling guidelines, please visit our recycling page.

CONTACT - Kimberley Homer at  kimberley.homer@vt.edu

Since its inception in 2006, together with our partners and sponsors Ytoss has:

  • Diverted more than 85 tons of gently used household items from the waste stream
  • Engaged over 1000 community volunteers in service to students and families
  • Generated over $50,0000 to support student-led programs that nurture the potential of youth and teens, improve the health and well-being of individuals and families, and inspire social responsibility throughout the New River Valley.
  • Contributed to Virginia Tech’s ranking as a Silver member of theAssociation of the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education in 2008.
West AJ Pod Map JPEG

We will be at the pink star closest to Building #32 on Washington Street..

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2014 SB Projects – Working with the YMCA for Processing Used Household Batteries

A Downtown-Blacksburg Merchant's recycling collection box.

A merchant’s collection box.

Our local YMCA is now providing SPACE TO STORE the black plastic boxes – purchased by the Town of Blacksburg (TOB) and used by select merchant-members of Downtown Blacksburg Inc (DBI) for collection of used household batteries, CFLs and printer cartridges — and to provide SPACE, TABLES & CONTAINERS for PERIODIC SORTING  of batteries and boxing them for transport to the Montgomery Regional Solid Waste Authority (MRSWA)  in Christiansburg.

photo 2

A mixture of household batteries in need of separation.

Our overall goals for battery recycling with the YMCA are as follows:

    • To separate household ALKALINE batteries from all other chemical types.
    • To place all household ALKALINE batteries into covered, well-marked plastic boxes.
    • To SEPARATELY BAG AND SEAL all other batteries, so as to prevent truck fires during transport to the nearest U.S. recycling facility.
    • To place all separately-bagged household batteries of OTHER CHEMICAL TYPES into other covered, well-marked, plastic boxes.
    • To see that these well-marked, covered boxes are safely TRANSPORTED to MRSWA.
    • Ultimately, we wish to prevent TOXIC CHEMICALS, found in all household batteries, from being placed in our regional landfill where these toxins will, eventually, contaminate nearby ground water and soils.

SB Members firmly believe that, on planet Earth, there is no such thing as sending things “away”.

Yesterday (03 May 14) was the first time that SB and the YMCA worked together to TEST our proposed plan for preparing these used household batteries for transport to MRSWA.  Everyone involved seemed to feel that the process worked well but could be improved with future testing.

HERE ARE THE VOLUNTEERS WHO HELPED WITH THIS BATTERY RECYCLING PROJECT ON 03 MAY:

(l to r) Austin Jones, Max Zhong, Dan Zhu

Beginning to sort alkaline from non-alkaline batteries. (l to r) Austin Jones, Max Zhong, Dan Zhu

 

    • Don Bixby
    • Austin Jones
    • Bob Shubert
    • Max Zhong
    • Dan Zhu

      photo 3

      Separately packaging non-alkaline batteries. (l to r) Austin Jones, Dan Zhu, Max Zhong, Austin Jones, Don Bixby.

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